Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909)


Lt 52, 1909

Rice, Brother and Sister [J. D.]

St. Helena, California

March 2, 1909

Previously unpublished.

Elder J. D. Rice
6270 Racine Street
Oakland, California

Dear Brother and Sister Rice:

I have not been able to sleep more than two hours of the past night. My mind was clear, and the past experience, in the severe conflict we have passed through, was distinctly impressed upon me. For a long time I have stood by you, because it was my duty to do this, and now I arise at the early hour of 1:30 o’clock to write you further instruction that has been given me regarding you. It is at this time that your danger comes. 24LtMs, Lt 52, 1909, par. 1

It has been represented to me that because of the past conflicts that you have gone through, you would be tempted to respond to the impulse of reaction, and to prefer division rather than unity. But now is the time, my brother and sister, to act out Christlikeness of character, and to heartily respond to the action of those who now wish for union. You are making your record in the presence of the Father and of the Son and of holy angels. If you will be worked by the Holy Spirit you can carry the work that has been committed to you, not in your own way, but after the Lord’s planning. It is your privilege to give evidence to all that you are maintaining a Christlike disposition, and that you are making decided efforts to reform in the matter of preaching long discourses. 24LtMs, Lt 52, 1909, par. 2

When I gave an appointment that I would speak to the Berkeley company on Sabbath and Sunday, I besought the Lord for strength. I was afflicted at the time, how much none but myself and the Lord will know; but the Lord gave me the victory and I was blessed while speaking. In my weakness I was made strong. When a brother spoke lengthily in self-justification, I know that his words were not timely. There is danger at times of striking a note that is not in harmony with the spirit that Christ would have prevail. And this is my fear in your behalf, that you may not always be controlled by the spirit of the Saviour. Now is your time to work in humility, and to give evidence to the congregation that your spirit and the spirit of the heavenly angels are in full accord. No more labor for two churches, but for one church, all humbly striving for peace and harmony. 24LtMs, Lt 52, 1909, par. 3

“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy darkness shall be as the noonday.” [Isaiah 58:8.] If you will put your trust fully in the Lord, and walk and work in Christian simplicity, God will verify this promise to you. I pray that you may unitedly connect yourselves so closely with the Lord, that light will shine forth from you as the morning, and that your spiritual health will spring forth speedily. 24LtMs, Lt 52, 1909, par. 4

You are to give to the people a representation of what the truth, when taught correctly, will accomplish. Work as Christ worked in the simplicity of the gospel. Do not weary the people with lengthy discourses, but labor to create a keen appetite to hear and understand the Word of God. Then your hearers will learn to appreciate a spiritual connection with heaven and will resolve to obey the counsels of God. The Lord will work by His Holy Spirit, and souls will be converted. 24LtMs, Lt 52, 1909, par. 5

Never let self get in the way of the Lord’s working. Watch and pray, and trust in the living Word. We need the power and grace of God. Let the church follow on to know the Lord, that they may know His goings forth are prepared as the morning. I hope that these words will find a place in every heart. Never forget that self is to be brought strictly under discipline to God. Never enter into the work of accusing others; you cannot determine how much harm may thus be done to yourself and to those whom you might otherwise have helped. Speak kindly and truly to one another. Walk trustfully. Speak the truth in love, and let your sympathies go out to poor and needy souls. If you will do this, you will find that your own souls are watered. 24LtMs, Lt 52, 1909, par. 6

Every church and sanitarium that is established for the work of God should possess the choicest talents, because ministers and physicians and church members are learning of the true and living God. I am instructed to say to ministers and physicians, This is a life-and-death question with every one of us. God has been working for San Francisco and Oakland in the judgments that have fallen, that souls may be convicted and converted. And the Lord will show some how great things they will suffer for His name’s glory. 24LtMs, Lt 52, 1909, par. 7

The Lord has represented to me what He will do for His people in Oakland if they will walk humbly with God and work out His will in their lives. And to you I would say, Now is your time and opportunity. Plant your feet on a firm foundation. Be strong, yea, be strong, not in your own strength, but because the Lord is using you to His name’s glory. Let the Lord be magnified. You have tried to do the will of the Lord in opening His Word to those to whom you have had access. Let your work be earnest. As you unite in the work of seeking to reach souls, the Lord will bless your efforts. 24LtMs, Lt 52, 1909, par. 8

The Lord now wants you to work to the point of unity with those who desire to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. You are to cultivate the wisdom that will lead you to depend upon God. You are to carry out God’s purpose in connection with the church, and to act your part in revealing the characteristics of a living Saviour. Ye are laborers together with God. Do not for one moment forget this. God has endowed men and women with power to become partakers of the divine nature and to be molded into the likeness of Christ. This is the higher education. 24LtMs, Lt 52, 1909, par. 9